I thought CookieCon-goers would be slow to rise after the non-stop program of classes (and socializing) yesterday. But - lo and behold - the Hilton Ballroom was already buzzing at 8:30 am with those getting a jumpstart on their "open decorating."
Lining the ballroom periphery were various work stations, each a dedicated practice area for a particular decorating technique. There was a station for airbrushing, another for stenciling, another for working with the Kopykake, another for wafer-papering and on and on . . . (BTW, huge kudos to Mike, Karen, and the Karen's Cookies team for orchestrating this incredibly rich hands-on experience so expertly! Not to mention all of CookieCon . . . what a feat!)
Next up after technique practice was the Mystery Shape challenge: decorate a speech bubble cookie super creatively, and you might just win big at the closing ceremony!
Those not decorating (which included me) either made vendor booth-rounds for the first (or second or third!) time or attended product demonstrations hosted by various sponsors. Arty McGoo's "Mr. John" joined the mix by giving a presentation on copyright law and proper online attribution etiquette. And somewhere in the middle of all of the above, Arty did a dance-off with Kip Simpson of BRP Box Shop - which I regrettably missed.
As for me, I had the distinct pleasure of chatting with four more fabulous CookieCon presenters - Anne Yorks, Angela Rudy, Amber Spiegel, and Myri SÁnchez - whose video interviews will soon be viewable here. (Likely sometime on Sunday, thanks to a painfully slow internet connection . . .)
While you're (patiently) waiting for those videos to upload, I hope the following photos and recently posted Sugar Show recap will give you a fuller flavor of today!
At the center of each work station, this tabletop tent set the mood for the day - FUN!
Open decorating already underway at 8:30 am. Here, people are coloring and doling out icing.
The Kopykake station got a work-out!
What did I just tell you? Huge interest in this station!
While it took people a little while to warm up to the airbrush station, I was immediately drawn to the airbrush spray booth on it - a product by CakeSafe with a filter and fan that literally sucks up the airbrush overspray. My kitchen, hands, and nose (!) would have remained a lot cleaner had I known about it sooner!
The stenciling station in full swing.
Another clever tool, the "Notta Cookie" is a newly released Mike Summer's (Karen's Cookies) invention! Basically, it's a cleanable, reusable "test" cookie that allows for trial and error without the risk of sacrificing a real cookie. The stenciling station fell in love with it, as you can well imagine.
A happy cookier at the fondant station, where lots of work was being done with impression mats.
And the fruit of all of the above practice?! Fabulous finished Mystery Shape cookies ready for judging.
As fun as open decorating was, the real excitement came much later in the day at the big Sugar Show winner reveal. Missed that recap? Hold onto your jaw (because it's sure to drop) and click here!